The Columbia College Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team brought home the trophy for first runner-up at the SIFE USA regional competition held on April 7 in St. Louis, one of 21 regional competitions nationwide.
The Columbia College SIFE club had 100 percent participation at this year's event. Team members included Andre Amos, Jacob Black, Eric Ewigman, Tiffany Foote, Mariuska Hamilton, Hea-Sun Kim, Ji-Young Kim, Lisa Kowaleski, Mindy Mitchem, Jin-Seon Park, Nathan Rover, Ji-Hae Seo, Terrance Smith, Shannon Wagner and Jin You.
SIFE faculty advisor Dr. Steven Heller, who accompanied the team to the competition, said that because the club focused on fewer projects of a more intensive nature than in previous years, they were able to have a greater impact on the community. Team members Shannon Wagner and Lisa Kowaleski agreed. "We hope we've helped students to be able to relate these experiences to real jobs in the future," said Kowaleski. "The SIFE team worked hard to impact different sectors of the community," added Wagner. "We feel privileged to have been part of these projects."
The Columbia College SIFE club organized and implemented a variety of outreach projects throughout the year. Some of the projects included teaching elementary school students about personal finance, holding roundtable discussions for college students to learn from business and community leaders, and helping a local small business manager with marketing strategies.
SIFE is an international non-profit organization active at more than 1,800 colleges and universities in more than 40 countries. SIFE clubs organize outreach projects to teach market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial success skills and business ethics within their communities. Each club sends a team at the end of the year to compete against other campus teams for trophies and cash awards at regional, national and international competitions. Projects are judged for creativity, innovation and effectiveness.